I know what youíre thinking. Youíre thinking of all the ways you could start calling me a hypocrite. Donít bother, it isnít needed. Peopleís tastes in music evolve over time and thereís no need to go overboard and start flaming people who change their mind. Just accept that fact and learn to accept the new way of life. For beyond the shrouded hills lies a life of extreme disbelief. Pondering such land of composure will only perplex the minds of the innocent, so riveted by the inconsequential affairs of the present time. A quite light awaits us all once the enduring darkness has come to pass. But never, even to the one himself, did ShadowsFallen ever think he would enjoy a Lamb of God album.
The question remains, what has improved so drastically between albums so as to cause oneís love of the band to make a complete 180-degree turn? In a word, everything.
As the Palaces Burn
comes packed with plenty of reassuring brutality. From the thrash metal title track As the Palaces Burn
to the aptly titled Boot Scraper
, their second album shows a definite step up the extreme metal scale. Songs are heavier, more riff-laden, and Blythe seems to have gone through an intense case of adolescence. Suddenly, his scream is deep and entrancing, complete with death metal growls and high shrieks reminiscent of Lord Worm. This style of playing goes magnificently with a well-amplified sense of melody. Displayed quite plainly by the somber clean guitar passages of Vigil
and the dark harmonization of 11th Hour
, the band has broken free of the previous constraints and begun to experiment with their writing. The music is consequently darker, more memorable, and seems to possess a theme within each song.
The most noticeable change from their previous effort lies in the technical realm. It is quite clear that As the Palaces Burn
has much clearer production then New American Gospel
. Every instrument and voice comes through cleanly, and has a vicious punch to boot. Every riff is punishing and seems to infect listenersí skulls like a metal plague. The instruments have also improved technically. Riffs are much more experimental with melody, and have become more complex because of that. Solos are utilized within (see Boot Scraper
) that accent the dark-tuned riffs perfectly.
All of the elements their previous album suffered from have become top notch. Not only is As the Palaces Burn
a brutal album, but itís also more unique, memorable, layered and complex, and better in virtually every way. The album contains some of the bandís best songs to date such as Ruin
and 11th Hour
, which flow with a vengeance. Bringing all of these talents together has made each song different and unforgettable across many paths, with plenty of variation. Lamb of God has proved that they hold a hidden flare for enhancement deep within their loins, and anything may be possible. What we already know is that they are well on their way to a promising upward slope, as the improvements here are so drastic that one may wonder how the same band couldíve written an album such as New American Gospel
. Please, for your own sake. Should you ever invest in one Lamb of God album, let As the Palaces Burn
be the one.
- 11th Hour